Originally Posted by jleiker
How can you guys tell if rear axles need work? Which photo?
I figured someone else would jump on this. But since a PHD didn't chime in, you are going to have to settle for a TA, if you can forgive the poor analogy. A real teacher can correct my mistakes-
Generally speaking, you can determine sagged out axles just by the amount of tire showing under the wheel well. In this case, there is almost no tire showing above the rim before the bottom of the wheel well covers it up. And by the way, it isn't just the rear axle, it is both. This isn't the most scientific approach, but is usually dead-on accurate. Tire size can skew this technique somewhat.
There is also some background information available in this case. Since they didn't address it in the show, it is safe to assume they didn't replace the axles. Seeing the pictures just further solidifies things. Couple that with my having the exact same trailer (down to the year) that I look at everyday, it is kind of a no-brainer.
A more scientific approach would be to crawl under the trailer and measure the down-angle of the arm. This number might not be right, but it seems like an unloaded trailer should have about 5 degrees or more of down. Mine were about level before replacement. I have read of other's who actually had negative.
Hope that helps. Oh yeah, another pretty good rule of thumb is if they have never been replaced on a vintage trailer, the odds are that they are shot.